CISA warns – upgrade your cybersecurity now to defend against “potential critical threats”

The US government has urged organizations to shore up defenses “now” in response to website defacements and destructive malware targeting Ukraine government websites and IT systems. 

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a new ‘CISA Insights’ document aimed at all US organizations, not just critical infrastructure operators. The checklist of actions is CISA’s response to this week’s cyberattacks on Ukraine’s systems and websites, which the country’s officials have blamed on hackers linked to Russian intelligence services. 

Ukraine officials also told media that dozens of systems in at least two government agencies were wiped during an attack last week

The use of destructive malware is reminiscent of NotPetya in 2017, which was effectively ransomware that lacked a recovery mechanism. It hit several global businesses, most notably shipping giant Maersk which needed to overhaul 45,000 desktops and 4,000 servers, although the actual target was probably businesses in Ukraine. Many NotPetya victims were infected through a hacked update for a Ukrainian software accounting package.

“The identification of destructive malware is particularly alarming given that similar malware has been deployed in the past—e.g., NotPetya and WannaCry ransomware—to cause significant, widespread damage to critical infrastructure,” CISA notes in the Insights document

Prior to the latest cyberattacks

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